Oregon Ducks star redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota was widely considered a top prospect ahead of the 2014 NFL draft. However, Mariota announced on Tuesday that he will stay in Eugene for at least his junior season.
GoDucks.com reported the news, and the announcement was also posted on the official Instagram account for University of Oregon Athletics:
The aforementioned report provided a statement from Mariota regarding his decision, as he plans on finishing his degree next year:
It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates...I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.
As can be seen from above, Mariota will be rejoined by redshirt junior center Hroniss Grasu, according to the GoDucks.com report.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 3:50 p.m. ET:
According to a report from Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Mariota requested a draft grade after to deciding to remain at Oregon:
After releasing a statement December 3 of his intentions to return to Oregon, the redshirt sophomore has since requested his grade from the NFL Advisory Committee, NFLDraftScout.com has confirmed.
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CSNNW.com's Aaron J. Fentress has more detail:
A source close to situation said Mariota wants to finish his degree and wasn't ready to leave his teammates, the school or the community.— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) December 3, 2013
Mariota has enjoyed a fabulous season for the most part, but the Ducks, once BCS National Championship contenders in 2013, finished the regular season 10-2, with Mariota's play slipping a bit in losses to Stanford and Arizona.
Nevertheless, the 20-year-old dual-threat QB has a bright future, and he's thrown for 3,412 yards this season with 30 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He's also rushed for 582 yards and nine more scores.